All Manga/Manhwa/etc.

Hanyang Diaries by Jong Soo-hyeon and Kim Young-eun

In this manhwa, travel back to the Joseon dynasty and to the streets of Hanyang. To a place called Gurakbuwon, and entangle yourselves in the lives of the residents there. Drawn together by fate, Cheongdam, Itaewon and Euljiro are entangled in a web of power, greed, love and friendship.

From left to right: Euljiro, Cheongdam, Itaewon.


Tags: Manhwa, Historical Fiction, Romance, Drama

Where I read it: Manta (using subscription) – no longer available there

I can’t remember if Hanyang Diaries was the first manhwa that I picked up after reading Under The Oak Tree, but there was something about it that really drew me in. I’m a sucker for almost all historical fiction, so it was no surprise that I was sucked into this story soon after I picked it up. For those new to reading manga/manhwa/etc. you can often find them online, though print editions are often also available. Sometimes English translations take a while to come out so it’s a little bit of a waiting game there.

I read Hanyang Diaries through the app Manta using their monthly subscription, though I believe as of May 20th, 2024 it’s no longer available there. This is a bit saddening to me because I feel that a lot of people who enjoy historical fiction or period pieces would love this story. There are two parts to this story and they’re often posted together.

Part one is the introduction of the young characters in their late teens and their budding relationships with one another and subsequent conflicts that arise around them. Part two picks up a couple of years after the events of part one, and secrets and conspiracies are ripe here. There’s a threat to the crown but it remains to be seen if it’s coming from a close source, or from inside the palace. People are not who you think they are.

Hanyang Diaries is a story about youth, growing up longing for the one you love. But fate keeps pulling you together only to rip you away in the next moment. It certainly brings about a lot of heartache and heartbreak as a reader, and I do have to admit that it doesn’t necessarily have the HEA (happily ever after) that we expect. I’ve come to accept the ending because I’m used to ones like this, but if you’re someone who needs that HEA then I would shelve this manhwa for a later time.

Tropes you’ll see in this manhwa are love triangles, enemies to lovers, court intrigue, and ambiguous HEA.

Overall, Hanyang Diaries is a captivating read and it’s no wonder that it was so popular! There’s also an official OST available for this, and I thought the overall vibe was perfect for the beginning and end. I’ll link it below! Finally, thank you for reading this review and I hope that it inspires/encourages you to pick up this manhwa (or the novels if you prefer).

Hanyang Diaries OST:

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